Workers prepare absentee ballots for mailing at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. North Carolina is scheduled to begin sending out more than 600,000 requested absentee ballots to voters on Friday.
(CNN)Almost three quarters of Americans (73%) supported allowing any eligible citizen to vote by mail this fall despite months of President Donald Trump’s attacks on universal mail-in voting, according to a poll from the Washington Post and University of Maryland.
The findings published in a poll on Thursday directly push back against much of Trump’s recent messaging, in which he has attacked states that are sending ballots to each eligible voter. For months, Trump has insisted Americans vote in person, and raised doubts about the legitimacy of voting through the mail. Despite those accusations, the poll showed only a quarter of respondents opposed allowing Americans to vote by mail. There is expected to be a record amount of mail-in voting during the November election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll showed three quarters of respondents said fear of coronavirus infection should qualify as a reason to vote by mail, and 25% say it shouldn’t. However, Americans are split on whether they personally will feel comfortable voting in person in November — 45% do and 47% don’t. Around half in the poll (49%) plan to vote in person at a polling place, 33% by mail and 16% dropping off a ballot. A majority (61%) have never voted by mail. Read MoreEight in 10 Americans were confident their vote will be counted accurately, with fewer who said votes in the US for president overall will be counted accurately (62%). More were confident voting in person will be counted accurately (90%) and voting in person early (86%) than they were in voting by mail or absentee (65%).Among those who supported allowing anyone to vote by mail, 40% would prefer their state send a ballot to all registered voters, 32% want a ballot-request form sent to all registered voters and 28% want voters to request a ballot from the elections office.Around a third (32%) have already tried to vote by mail this year, in a prior election such as a primary or special election. Among those, very few (single digits) had trouble getting their ballot, completing their ballot, returning their ballot or had it rejected. Concerning when results will come in, 33% think the results of the election will be clear on election night, while 66% think it will take longer than that.A large majority (88%) said they understand the rules for voting in their state well, but many couldn’t answer basic questions on the poll.When asked which of the following describes the way mail-in voting will be handled in their state this fall, 34% thought voters must contact their elections office to request a ballot, 13% said all voters will be sent a ballot request form and 14% thought all voters will be automatically sent an election ballot. However, 38% said they weren’t sure.
Almost half of Americans (49%) weren’t sure what the deadline was for mail-in ballots to be counted for their state, as well, while 27% think they must be postmarked before election day, 18% must be received by election day, and 7% must be postmarked the day before election day. The Washington Post/University of Maryland poll was conducted by Ipsos online August 24-31 among a random sample of 1,929 Americans. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.